People talk 01/14/03

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Aniston attends awards show despite broken toe

LOS ANGELES -- Jennifer Aniston, nursing a broken toe, needed a cane and a co-star to collect her People's Choice Award.

Aniston, who plays Rachel Green on the hit NBC series "Friends," used the cane and a helping hand from co-star Matthew Perry Sunday to walk to the stage of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The 33-year-old actress received the award for favorite female television performer during the 29th annual awards show, hosted by Tony Danza.

Aniston broke a toe on her right foot after hitting it on piece of furniture, her publicist said Monday. He didn't elaborate.

"Friends" also won an award for favorite comedy series.

The People's Choice Awards, which were presented live on CBS, cover 16 categories in film, television and drama. A nationwide poll conducted by the Gallup Organization determined both the open-ended nominees and the winners.

Fans also could vote on the Internet in two categories.

Maoris want token of recognition for film

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Indigenous Maori are demanding gifts as recognition of the role one of their ancestors -- a mountain -- is playing in a Tom Cruise movie being shot in New Zealand.

Maori spokesman Te Miringa Hohaia said some gesture, "not necessarily cash," needed to be made to Maori in recognition of their "special relationship" with Mount Taranaki.

The volcanic-coned mountain is likely to be transformed into Japan's Mount Fuji in "The Last Samurai," which began filming near the mountain Monday.

Some Maori have claimed filming will disturb sites sacred to local tribes. In tribal legend, Mount Taranaki is regarded as an ancestor of Maori who live in the region now.

No Maori group has threatened to disrupt filming if some kind of gesture is not made, but opposition Act Party lawmaker Ken Shirley called their appeals the "sort of extortion ... you expect from a corrupt society in the Third World."

He said such demands could scare off foreign investment in New Zealand.

Director Ed Zwick has said it's likely that computers will be used to superimpose Mount Fuji into the New Zealand scenes after filming.

Harvey won't have celebrities on talk show

LOS ANGELES -- Steve Harvey won't have to worry about fighting booking wars for his new WB variety-talk show: He doesn't plan to have any celebrity guests.

The new primetime show will shun stars in favor of "everyday people with extraordinary and humorous gifts," the network said.

Harvey will produce the series, which is being positioned as an alternative to "the predominance of celebrity-driven talk shows," WB said in its weekend announcement.

WB did not announce the show's title or when it will air.

Harvey, who appeared in the film "The Original Kings of Comedy," starred in the WB comedy "The Steve Harvey Show" for six seasons. He's a top-rated radio host on a Los Angeles station, KKBT-FM.

Comedian Lopez doesn't mind long hours

LOS ANGELES -- With his namesake situation comedy winning its time slot for ABC, comedian George Lopez doesn't mind the long hours he's working these days.

"The show may go one more episode or 100, but it's not going to fail because I didn't give enough of myself," Lopez said.

The 41-year-old, who's worked as a disc jockey and a stand-up comic, mines a lot of his own life story for "George Lopez." He's enjoying enormous success, but that didn't come quickly.

"After struggling through the '90s just to feed my family and pay my bills, this is a pretty good time," Lopez told the Los Angeles Times for an article published Sunday. "If you consider being a road comedian a career, good luck."

Lopez got his shot at prime time when Sandra Bullock caught his stand-up routine two years ago. The actress was interested in developing a television project with a Hispanic story line.

"I fell in love with his life story," Bullock said.

Lopez said he enjoys putting stories from his life into the show.

"I'm giving my time, my life, my stories -- good and bad -- to this show, and after I don't have any more stories to tell, I'll walk away, having really done it."

Jackson 5 brother plans opening of casino

CHRISTIANSTED, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson 5 plans to open a $560 million casino resort in this U.S. Caribbean territory, officials said.

In partnership with Connecticut developer Curtis Robinson, Jackson plans to build the 1,400-room resort in Robin Bay, on the eastern end of St. Croix, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said Friday.

Jackson and his partners are waiting to arrange for more funding before beginning construction, Richards said, without giving details.

The resort is to include a casino, a golf course, time shares and a conference center. U.S. Virgin Islands authorities have already approved a casino license, Richards said.

Jackson was in St. Croix last week, attending festivities surrounding the inauguration of Gov. Charles Turnbull to a second four-year term as head of the territory's government.

"I think its the first opportunity for Mr. Jackson to see the property and to meet the governor," Richards said.

Environmentalist installs low-pollution motors

LOS ANGELES -- Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of Jacques Cousteau, has installed eco-friendly motors on his 28-foot Ocean Futures research vessel.

The new generation of low polluting, two-stroke Evinrude and Johnson outboards, manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products, were on display recently in Marina del Rey.

Cousteau, president of the nonprofit Ocean Futures Society educational and conservation organization, also teamed with Bombardier for a "Cruise Clean" program that awards scholarships to Los Angeles area kids for the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program.

Winning students will travel aboard Cousteau's boat to Santa Catalina Island on a three-day research trip.

-- From wire reports

The new generation outboards exceed strict California Air Resources Board standards for 2006, Bombardier executive Roch Lambert said, and "demonstrate our ongoing dedication to responsibly protect underwater ecosystems around the globe."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: